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Last night, Bob Filner attended a $500 per person fundraising party for his campaign held by the downtown lobbying firm of Public Policy Strategies. The San Diego mayor was ferried to the occasion in a black Toyota sports utility vehicle, flanked by two beefy plainclothes security men.

As previously noted here, Public Policy is owned by Tom Shepard, the legendary local GOP political consultant who last year worked for ex-Republican turned independent Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher--heavily backed by Qualcomm, Inc. executives--before flipping to take on Filner's cause in the general election battle against Republican city councilman Carl DeMaio.

Public Policy employees include Rachel Laing, a former media handler for GOP mayor Jerry Sanders.

Shepard’s lobbying outfit counts among its clients San Diego Gas & Electric as well as Turner Construction, which according to a recent disclosure has hired Shepard's firm to clear up any remaining obstacles at city hall to the construction of Qualcomm founder and billionaire Irwin Jacobs's controversial Balboa Park parking and traffic makeover.

Also pulling up to the curb for the event was Nancy Chase, a longtime friend and associate of Shepard's dating back to their days together as political intimates of fallen GOP mayor Roger Hedgecock. Chase, who runs the controversial Gregory Canyon solid waste project of her late husband Richard Chase, as well as her own contract lobbying company, was an early Filner donor. Her daughter Molly was recently named a $40,000 a year city "protocol officer" by the mayor.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s fall rival DeMaio has announced a "Reform San Diego Wine Tasting Reception" to be held January 29 at the 57 Degrees Wine Bar on Hancock Street.

An invitation on Reform San Diego’s website has the details:

Help support the work of Reform San Diego in 2013 by attending our kickoff fundraiser. Personal or corporate donations are accepted, and there is no limit or cap on the amount that can be donated. Suggested minimum donation for the reception: $75.

According to the website, Reform San Diego is a political committee registered with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. Information posted online by the state Secretary of State's office shows that the group has been formerly known as Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio and San Diego Citizens for Accountable Government.

Notes the committee's website:

The Reform San Diego Committee began operation in 2004, first under the name "San Diego Citizens for Accountable Government. In 2008, the committee name had to change to "Reforming City Hall with Carl DeMaio" to comply with rules requiring candidate-controlled committees to include the name of elected officials who direct their activities. The committee is now known simply as "Reform San Diego."

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Can't wait to see the annotated list of attendees at DeMaio's "Reform San Diego" fundraiser and the rides they show up in.

Jan. 24, 2013

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